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Another PDF Tool helps you quickly operate on PDF files with actions such as rotate, merging, and splitting via the command-line. Currently only supports merging.

Project description

Another PDF Tool

Another PDF Tool helps you quickly operate on PDF files with actions such as rotate, merging, and splitting pages from the command-line.

This project is in it's early stages of development, it currently only supports one operation.

Please stay tuned or open an issue or pull request if you'd like to help me out! I do have a day job so I'm only working on this in my free time, development will likely be slow.

Author: Brandon Villagran


License: MIT

Table of Contents


Requires Python 3.6 or higher. I am investigating packaging options for end users without needing Python to be pre-installed.

You can clone this repository and build it yourself with poetry, or get it with pip. If you are downloading it I'll assume you already know how to use Python modules, and pip, specifically on your operating system.

python -m pip install bvill.apdft --user

Why bvill.apdft? Because just apdft is already taken :( Formally this project should be known as Another PDF Tool or apdft to refer to the command-line script name.


At the moment, the only operation supported is to merge multiple .pdf files into one. More is on its way :)

Run the application in the terminal emulator of your choice.

apdft --version
apdft --help
apdft merge --help


The PDF files will be merged in the same order they are specified in the source arguments

You can specify multiple .pdf files to merge into one output file

apdft path/to/your/file1.pdf path/to/your/file2.pdf path/to/out.pdf

You can also specify directories containing .pdf files as your source input

apdft path/to/your/file1.pdf path/to/dir/with/pdfs path/to/out.pdf

By default if one or more of your sources is a directory, then it is searched recursively until all .pdf files are found. Then it will sort all .pdf files alphanumerically by their filenames. Sorting only occurs at the position where the directory is specified.

For example, imagine this is the contents of ./dir:

|-- 0
|   `-- 3.pdf
|-- 1.pdf
`-- 2.pdf

If you run apdft merge like this:

apdft merge b.pdf dir a.pdf dest.pdf

The result will effectively be calling it like this:

apdft merge b.pdf dir/1.pdf dir/2.pdf dir/0/3.pdf a.pdf dest.pdf

You can disable this behavior with the -d flag, and it will default to the natural search order defined by the OS (os.listdir). Note that this will still not change the position of the SRC argument when it is a directory.

Author's Note

First and foremost, this project is intended to be a learning exercise in developing, packaging, and distributing a modern Python-based desktop GUI application. That has been my goal since the beginning, but I decided I should take an Agile approach by delivering small, incremental releases to the public. Although the project is still in it's initial development stage, this will help set the foundation for a consistent release cycle if I decide to do more with it in the future.

The concept for Another PDF Tool came to me because I realized that often I need to quickly concatenate multiple PDF files together, or to break one up into seperate files. Of course I'm aware that there are a ton of free online PDF tools that do this already (seriously, just go to Google and search PDF Tool). But whenever I would use one of those I always had a nagging feeling that my data was not kept private, which is mostly a concern only when my PDF files contain sensitive personal information. It's also surprising that the most common, free PDF viewing tools don't support the functionality I desire. Regardless, an open source desktop PDF editing tool sounded like a great first Python project to do on the weekends, that is not just an ad-hoc script of sorts.

My idea is to write out an uncomplicated backend utilizing the PyPDF2 library and build on top of it by first creating a stupidly-simple command-line interface, then a GUI for the primary end-userbase with something like wxPython or Electron, and possibly a HTTP REST API which might be a requirement for an Electron or other web-based frontend `anyway.

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